November 18, 2007

Judith Regan: Crazy or the "reincarnation of Linda Tripp"?

Roger Parloff rips into Judith Regan's 70-page complaint:
When I first got out of law school and was clerking for a federal judge in Texas, I did see a few comparable pleadings, though those were usually filed “pro se” — i.e., by the plaintiff himself, without the assistance of a lawyer. One, I remember, was a civil rights suit naming as defendants the President of the United States, all nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, the plaintiff’s ex-wife, and a local Pizza Hut.

Like that complaint, Regan’s reads like one of those humor pieces in The New Yorker, where it not-so-gradually dawns on the reader that the narrator is out of his gourd. Even though you’re hearing only one side of the story, that’s enough to make up your mind against the griper.
Ouch.
[W]hat’s remarkable about the complaint is how far it ventures beyond merely disputing that she said anything anti-Semitic in that fateful phone call — a seemingly winnable, he-said-she-said squabble had her lawyers stopped her there.

Instead, they’ve allowed her to allege that News Corp. had actually been plotting her demise for at least five years before the Simpson debacle. “This smear campaign was necessary to advance News Corp.’s political agenda, which has long centered on protecting Rudy Giuliani’s presidential ambitions,” they write in paragraph 1 of the complaint. “Defendants knew they would be protecting Giuliani if they could preemptively discredit her,” the complaint continues.

As I understand it, Regan’s saying that News Corp. has been undermining her credibility for years because it feared she knew about unspecified skeletons in Giuliani’s closet that she had learned during her 2001 affair with then-Mayor Giuliani’s then-Police Chief Bernard Kerik and, further, that the company anticipated Regan might go public with if Giuliani ever ran for president.
Parloff finds it all manifestly crazy.

But the Regan lawsuit excites the mind of Frank Rich:
Few know more about Rudy than his perennial boon companion, Mr. Kerik. Perhaps during his romance with Ms. Regan he ... discussed everything Mr. Kerik witnessed at Mr. Giuliani’s side before, during and after 9/11. Perhaps he even explained to her why the mayor insisted, disastrously, that his city’s $61 million emergency command center be located in the World Trade Center despite the terrorist attack on the towers in 1993.

Perhaps, too, they talked about the business ventures the mayor established after leaving office....

Who at the News Corporation supposedly asked Ms. Regan to lie to protect Rudy’s secrets? Her complaint does not say....

The Giuliani story, by contrast, is relatively virgin territory. And with the filing of a lawsuit by a vengeful eyewitness who was fired from her job, it may just have gained its own reincarnation of Linda Tripp.
Eh. If there's something there, roll it out. Let us see it. It's a 70-page complaint. Why aren't we seeing it?

32 comments:

rhhardin said...

Nobody analyzes a plot better than Frank Rich. It's hard to believe he gave up being a theater critic.

EnigmatiCore said...

I think she and Dan Rather should become lovers and leave the rest of us be.

Bob said...

Anything that hurts a Republican excites the mind of Frank Rich.

Brian said...

In partial recompense (and that's the 1st time I've ever used the word "recompense" in print") for the several snippy comments I've made on your blog, here's the PDF of the Regan complaint:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/graphics/pdf/reganvhc.pdf

When I look for legal complaints, I google the parties, the word "complaint," plus "PDF" as a separate word, and it usually works.

sashal said...

Yes ,bob, that excites me too.
The Bush republicans or warmongering messianic maniacs like Giuliani should be politically destroyed, smeared, muddied, whatever. Just keep Mussolini out of American politics...

Ann Althouse said...

I linked to the complaint in my previous post on the case.

Bob said...

sashal said...

Yes ,bob, that excites me too.
The Bush republicans or warmongering messianic maniacs like Giuliani should be politically destroyed, smeared, muddied, whatever. Just keep Mussolini out of American politics...


I invoke Godwin's Law against sashal!

Brian said...

Whoops. "Why aren't we seeing it," as in, little or no evidence.

Oh, well.

When I look at both the Dan Rather and Judith Regan complaints, and I see the plaintiffs' law firms housed in expensive Manhattan real estate (1221 6th Ave. and and 499 Park Ave.), I wonder: Don't these lawyers, who surely must know better, have some ethical obligation to tell their clients that these cases are crap?

Or are they simply collecting money in exchange for indulging their clients' emotions, and transcribing those emotions onto legal complaints?

EnigmatiCore said...

Giuliani might be the least likely messianic maniac ever.

Hmm. The Mighty Messianic Maniacal Mussolinis. Where is PT Barnum?

christopher said...

Anybody who claims to believe that Roger Ailes wouldn't tell somebody to lie to the feds to benefit Rudy either hasn't really been paying attention to current events for the last couple of decades or else is light years beyond disengenuous.

Invisible Man said...

Giuliani might be the least likely messianic maniac ever.

Let's look a little closer

Messiah - One who is anticipated as, regarded as, or professes to be a savior or liberator.

Check, with all of the statements that he is the only candidate who can stop Al Queda, or Iran, or IslamoFacismNazismCrazyism or whatever, or even the Writer's strike.

Maniac - A person who acts in a wildly irresponsible way

Check plus. Marries cousin, announces end of 2nd marriage in press conference, asks to have mayoral term extended because of (drum roll) 9/11 and seeks endorsement from Pat Robertson who believes God punishes for Teh gays.

I think that the original claim was a pretty defensible statement all in all.

John Stodder said...

Why does Frank Rich get a news opinion column? "Perhaps" they discussed this, "perhaps" they discussed that...I mean, wow. Flat-out rumormongering on the Sunday op-ed page.

My take on Regan's complaint is that she threw in the Guiliani/Kerik/mystery News Corp. exec angle to get liberals like Rich to take her side and make her into a martyr. She desperately wants to be remembered as something other than the publisher who wanted to give OJ millions for a sick joke of a book. Quite brilliantly and cynically, she hit on the perfect thing to bury that reputation: Regan the martyr to Republicans and Fox News.

What's sad is how well it worked. Do a Google search on this story, and the vast majority of headlines accept her premise, that it was politics that cost her her job. Even a relatively smart leftwinger like Jeralyn of Talk Left is swooning over this. Apparently, Rush Limbaugh's publisher knows the liberal media all too well.

christopher said...

John Stodder said...

Why does Frank Rich get a news opinion column? "Perhaps" they discussed this, "perhaps" they discussed that...I mean, wow. Flat-out rumormongering on the Sunday op-ed page.

My take on Regan's complaint is that she threw in the Guiliani/Kerik/mystery News Corp. exec angle to get liberals like Rich to take her side and make her into a martyr.


My take is that you're pathetically naive or just willfully obtuse if you think for a minute that Roger Ailes wouldn't tell somebody to lie to the Feds to help Rudy.

It may or may not have happened, but to pretend that it's not a credible scenario is laughable...

John Stodder said...

Ailes? You have some inside knowledge that the unnamed executive is Ailes?

You don't. What you have is media/blogger speculation that it's Ailes. Which is exactly what Regan wanted you to think.

That hook in your mouth hurt much?

christopher said...

John Stodder said...

Ailes? You have some inside knowledge that the unnamed executive is Ailes?

You don't. What you have is media/blogger speculation that it's Ailes. Which is exactly what Regan wanted you to think.

That hook in your mouth hurt much?

I didn't say it happened. I simply said it's an eminently plausible scenario given the demonstrated scumbaggery of Ailes and Fox generally.

I notice even you can't bring yourself to say that it isn't.

christopher said...

BTW -- How many times did Bill Safire say (on the Op-Ed Page of the Times) that he knew for a dead certainty that Hillary was going to be indicted because of something or other?

He wasn't rumor-mongering, as you accuse Rich of. He was outright lying....

Not a peep of outrage from you wingers on that one, then or now...

Doyle said...

I'm really shocked that Ann takes a dim view of Regan's suit.

Seems like it should be at minimum an interesting story, with a little sex and Ailes-Giuliani conspiracy fodder, but no no. That won't do at all!

Aren't there any Republicans who read this blog who have figured out by now that Ann is in the tank for Giuliani? I mean just look at his position profile: tolerant of homosexuals, ignorant and batshit insane on foreign policy, and oh so macho. He's like a political Cosmo that was mixed just for Ann.

It's going to be fun watching his campaign implode, either in the primary or the general, as it gradually dawns on Americans just what a nutjob he is.

When he finally bows out, Ann's probably going to write something like "I have mixed feelings about this" and then break down and confess that she's heartbroken, which will be an added bonus.

christopher said...

Aren't there any Republicans who read this blog who have figured out by now that Ann is in the tank for Giuliani? I mean just look at his position profile: tolerant of homosexuals, ignorant and batshit insane on foreign policy, and oh so macho. He's like a political Cosmo that was mixed just for Ann.

Too perfect.

Doyle, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

reader_iam said...

tolerant of homosexuals, ignorant and batshit insane on foreign policy, and oh so macho

It seems to me I've seen Sen. Clinton basically described the same way, if not in those exact words.

Trooper York said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mary: Okay, how do you guys know each other?
Lloyd: We used to be best friends.
Harry: Yeah, until he turned into a back-stabber.
Lloyd: Me, a back-stabber? You've got a lot of nerve. You knew I was crazy about her!
Harry: Yeah, and you knew I was crazy about Fraida Felcher, and that didn't stop you, did it?
Lloyd: What do you mean?
Harry: "What do you mean?" Don't deny it, Lloyd. Fraida told me the whole sleazy story, Mr. French Tickler! I guess we both learned a little something about each other today.
Lloyd: You said it, pal. Maybe we're not as good of friends as we thought. I mean, if one beautiful girl can rip us apart, then maybe our friendship isn't worth a damn. Maybe we should call it quits right now.
Harry: You just tell me where to sign, bud.
Lloyd: Right on my ass after you kiss it!
Harry: You kiss mine! Both cheeks, both lips, right here!
(Dumb & Dumber 1994)

christopher said...

reader_iam said...

tolerant of homosexuals, ignorant and batshit insane on foreign policy, and oh so macho

It seems to me I've seen Sen. Clinton basically described the same way, if not in those exact words.


Possibly by large assholes. Most normal people, not so much.

Maxine Weiss said...

"Ann is in the tank for Giuliani"---Doyle

Then why does she gleefully, giddily, announce that her son, Christopher, likes Hillary ?

Or, was that just a ploy?

After all, the boy does like Madonna too, so naturally, his worship of Hillary goes right along with that. Doesn't mean a thing.....

Love,
Maxine

Maxine Weiss said...

The fans of Madonna and the fans of Hillary are the same people.

Now the fans of Martha Stewart are completely different. --- Lots of Nixon Democrats and Barry Goldwater flip-floppers....who do crafts in the Suburbs, find Martha very soothing.

christopher said...


Maxine Weiss said...

The fans of Madonna and the fans of Hillary are the same people.


That is one of the most deeply bizarre statements ever uttered here.

Revenant said...

I see Chris is back and still plugging this story. I wonder if it is still making him go "hee hee" and "hah hah"?

I can see how Regan might have filed this lawsuit to rehabilitate her reputation -- even if she loses, a few twits will still believe the "fired by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" story, after all. But claiming the conspiracy goes back over five years is too over-the-top; she should have left that part out. She'd have gotten more believers that way.

christopher said...

Revenant said...

I see Chris is back and still plugging this story. I wonder if it is still making him go "hee hee" and "hah hah"?


And you're suggesting -- I assume with a straight face -- that the idea that Ailes wouldn't tell somebody to lie to the Feds to protect Rudy isn't totally plausible give his history of scumbaggery?

It may or may not have actually happened, but as I said before the idea that it isn't eminently believable is preposterous.

Maxine Weiss said...

How many Christophers are there around here?

spudchuker said...

"Possibly by large assholes. Most normal people, not so much."

I'm just an Idaho hick but I don't understand why it is necessary to call someone who has a view point different from your own an a##hole. Do you talk this way to people you know in daily life?

christopher said...

I'm just an Idaho hick but I don't understand why it is necessary to call someone who has a view point different from your own an a##hole. Do you talk this way to people you know in daily life?

If they're being assholes, yeah.

Seriously -- since when did everybody around here get so old lady-ish? You can't even write out the word asshole?

.

spudchuker said...

christopher said...

I'm just an Idaho hick but I don't understand why it is necessary to call someone who has a view point different from your own an a##hole. Do you talk this way to people you know in daily life?

If they're being assholes, yeah.

Seriously -- since when did everybody around here get so old lady-ish? You can't even write out the word asshole?

Oh my gosh, this IS the way you talk to people you meet on the street. I wonder about your genetic antecedents.

Revenant said...

And you're suggesting -- I assume with a straight face -- that the idea that Ailes wouldn't tell somebody to lie to the Feds to protect Rudy isn't totally plausible give his history of scumbaggery?

The idea that Bill Clinton would sexually assault a woman who refused him is totally plausible, but I still don't believe Wiley's story because the details surrounding it make little sense and the woman herself is untrustworthy.

The is the same situation. The conspiracy theory makes zero sense and Regan herself has the morals of a crack whore. Maybe Ailes would ask someone to lie, but since she didn't name him in the suit and since he is at any rate more trustworthy than her, believing this story -- absent further evidence -- would be silly.

wfhenning said...

Ms. Regan left the merits of the allegation out of the complaint for only one of two reasons, neither of which place her in a favorable light:
1. She is making her story up.
2. She is withholding the information to enhance the settlement value of the case - information not relevant at all to her claim for damages.

She is either (a) a fraud or (b) an extortionist. Since she already likely attempted to settle the matter pre-suit, (a) is the more likely choice.